Addiction Blog. Insight and Advice from Our Recovery Experts.

What Does it Mean to Lead with Intention?

Sometimes people do not realize how much pressure they put on themselves to live a certain way, even in recovery. The body, mind, and soul are only so ready to change as they can be at any given time. Achievement …

How Long Does Heroin Last?

Heroin is an opiate that strongly affects the brain. Once heroin reaches the brain, dopamine levels rise, creating the sensation of reward. Regular heroin use can result in tolerance, meaning that the amount a person originally used to signal reward in the brain is no longer enough to get an equal or better high. Tolerance means that you have to take a larger dose of heroin to achieve the same result as you did before, putting you more at risk for overdose and addiction. Whether you’ve already developed a heroin tolerance or are new to the drug, you may have …

Do Benzodiazepines Affect Dopamine Levels?

Benzodiazepines are a class of drugs designed to alleviate symptoms of anxiety. Introduced in the mid-1950s, “benzos” were originally intended to take the place of highly addictive barbiturates. However, decades of research have revealed that benzodiazepines can be just as habit-forming as the drugs they were meant to replace. The addictive potential of benzos lies in their method of action. Like opioids, cannabinoids, and other drugs, this medication can wreak havoc on a person’s dopamine levels. The outcome? A severe substance use disorder. Dopamine Explained No discussion of addiction is complete without mention of dopamine. It’s the “feel-good” neurotransmitter responsible …

How to Remain Spiritual in Recovery

Spirituality means different things to different people. To feel a connection to a higher power takes some thought and intentional action. Spirituality can help us derive a sense of meaning and purpose from our experiences. Maintaining a practice takes some work. Find some tips for remaining spiritual in recovery to boost your mental and physical well being. Don’t Need Religion Spirituality has both positive and negative connotations. People have many responses to spirituality versus religion. While many people may associate spirituality with religion, you don’t need a religion to connect with a spiritual practice. An inherent quality in human beings …

How to Build a Successful Recovery on a Foundation of Humility

Working hard in recovery can put things into perspective. Humility is one of the traits that are helpful to have when looking to build a successful recovery. Shaping your journey around humility helps you see things differently. It may not come naturally to you, but you can work towards this goal if you put in some effort early on. Learn how to shape a recovery that is focused on humility and helps you find hope and healing. Serve Others When you serve others, it is a humbling experience. Whether you work with people who are homeless, or you serve others …

Why Kindness Matters and How to Cultivate it

Giving back to others is a great kind of medicine. Generosity is a trait that is needed to cultivate kindness. It matters because it is something that helps everyone see the world a little differently, in a positive light, and helps build momentum for the journey of recovery. Learn some tips for how to cultivate more kindness in your own life. It Brings Happiness It may have felt good to make a person smile, or try performing a simple act of kindness, and turn a bad day into a good one. Completion of being generous leads to significantly more positive …

young man playing video game

Video Game Addiction Facts

Parents Guide For Video Game Addiction. How To Prevent Mental Illness Video Game Addiction, or “gaming disorder,” was recently classified as a disease by the WHO (World Health Organization). It is an impulse control disorder, similar to pathological gambling, which does not involve the use of an intoxicating substance. Most studies indicate that this addiction tends to impact young male more than women. New Studies Show Video Game Addiction Leads to Mental Illness Excessive video gaming, particularly internet gaming, has been linked to depression, anxiety, suicidal ideation, and social phobia. Also, an alarming number of adolescents and young adults devote an inordinate amount of …

Why People Should Consider Wilderness Therapy for Their Loved Ones with Addiction

Wilderness therapy combines nature experiences, along with some survival techniques, to develop therapy that helps people who struggle with substance use disorders, mental health, and behavior disorders. People who go outdoors focus on their self-improvement and overcome the issue of difficult behaviors and coping mechanisms. The goal is to foster personal and social responsibility while helping them grow and find healing. How it Works From the start, assessments are always the best place to begin for people on the journey of recovery. People who live in the wilderness and develop life skills are going to be able to work jobs …

How to Fix Your Life When it Becomes Like a Broken Record

Every single day and year of your life is different. You progress through tracks in school, you work your way up the ladder at work, and hit milestone after milestone throughout your life. Whether you like it or not, life continues moving forward. When life stops becoming about hitting milestones, you begin to feel like it is a broken record. Suddenly, everyday feels the same and you look for something to change. Find out why we sometimes feel our lives are like a broken record and how to fix what feels broken. Breaking the Habit Loop If your days, weeks, …

Is There Such a Thing as a Hangover Cure?

People who drink to the point of being intoxicated usually have some hangover issues. The best cure for this is to prevent it but if that does not happen, there may be ways to mitigate symptoms. There are other steps in hangover prevention. Once symptoms begin, fewer options actually provide relief. Traditional ‘cures’ do little to relieve symptoms. Some of them might make it worse. ‍ What Does Not Work Several myths and urban legends surrounding cures for hangovers have been around for years. Most are not based in science. Some include: The hair of a dog that bites: this …

How to Know if You Are Becoming More Spiritually Aware

Spiritual awakening helps people discover a different perception of the world. Colors are more vivid and life begins to appear through a clear vision of the world. When people realize their connection with everyone and everything, truth begins to emerge. This connection helps build energy and illuminates a higher spiritual pathway. Learn more about how to know if spiritual awakening has happened and what to do to create more awareness. Spiritual Paths No matter what spiritual pathways are chosen, in order to be more spiritually aware, it helps to set aside time to strip away everything to find the truth. …

Why is a Daily ‘Pause’ Button Important for Recovery?

When people think about hitting ‘pause,’ it typically means they think of stopping altogether. Not just pausing to reflect on why sobriety is a powerful recovery tool, but how to stop doing what they are doing altogether in favor of a different way of life. While there are bigger pauses in life, there is also an element of hitting pause on the small moments. The thoughts, the triggers, the cravings, and everything in between the margins that can cause recovery to feel more difficult than it needs to. Pausing is a choice to live with intention in recovery and find …

How Much Crack Does It Take To Overdose?

The viciousness of crack cocaine that we typically associate with crime, petty assaults, and robberies stems from a ravaged urban America in the 1980s which led to some of the stiffest law enforcement ever to exist in a first-world country. Seldom does the medical aspect even come to mind for the public at large, apart from the stereotypical insanity. The biggest risk to the addict, as most perceive it, is digging themselves deeper and deeper into their addiction without help or a way out. The use of crack carries with it a high risk of death. Indeed, addicts often push …

Why Men Who Are Introverts May Struggle with Depression and How to Support Their Overall Health

Introverts and extroverts can suffer from depression or other mental health issues, introverts often struggle more to speak out when they have to deal with it. Introverts are typically quiet and reserved, preferring quiet time away from other people. They are mistaken as being shy, but may not open as easily as an extrovert might. Introverts do not get along with everybody and love having time for themselves. They avoid crowds and are not into going to parties. Introverts are selective when it comes to friendships or building social contacts. They are labeled as ‘boring’ or feel judged all the …

Can Smoking Make Hangovers Feel More Intense?

Drinking and smoking cigarettes can go hand-in-hand for many people. On days a person drinks heavily, they may also smoke a lot. The nicotine may actually contribute to the intensity of a hangover for people who drink too much. Smoking heavily on the same day as drinking creates more of a hangover experience than for people who do not smoke and drink. Learn more about why this happens and what causes the intensity of a hangover to rise with smoking. Severe Hangover Symptoms Even when participants were controlled for age, the frequency of drug use, type of involvement, gender, smoking …

How Do I Get My Inner and Outer Self to Gel?

The tension between inner and outer self is common in the modern world. Each person is tugged in many directions every day and our behaviors do not always align with our core values. Becoming aware of our inner-selves and how it balances out is what takes some thinking. It helps to consider what it looks like to find inner balance for holistic healing. Outer Self At times, it is helpful to present a different outer self to the world than we experience on the inside. Most people weigh the pros and cons of sharing our true feelings depending on what …

What Does Being an Empath Have to Do with Addiction?

Empaths are susceptible to pretty much everything because they have a lot of open energy pathways that allow them to feel more than others. Emotionally, psychologically, and physically, they feel more than most, tap into other people’s pain, and overload their senses quite often. Thoughts and feelings can become overwhelming. An empath is someone for whom addiction may take root quickly and not be easy to get rid of because it becomes ingrained in their psyche as to who they are, not just a part of themselves. There are some ways empaths can overcome addiction, it just takes some time …

What is Family Sculpting?

Family therapy is part of rehab and recovery from drug and alcohol abuse. Recovery is not something a person does in a vacuum, it is a process that takes people on a journey, along with family, friends, and loved ones. Psychodrama is one tool people can use to grow in recovery from addiction. What is Family Sculpting The first step in family sculpting is to determine who is ready to do the work at this time. When someone steps forward to do the work is most likely ready to begin a deep, introspective process of looking inward at themselves and …

drugs in men

Signs of Drug Use in Men

There’s a persistent misconception that addiction results from poor judgment or an inherent flaw. The truth is that substance use disorders are a brain disease that can affect anyone, especially if they have a family history of drug abuse or mental illness. This Men’s Health Month, knowing the warning signs to look for can help you figure out if someone you care about is risking harmful consequences by abusing drugs. 1. Tolerance A tolerance occurs when someone’s brain has adapted to having drugs in their system. These substances are literally mind-altering because they cause the brain’s reward and pleasure centers …

The Effects of Snorting Heroin

Snorting, or “insufflating,” is increasing in popularity as a means of ingesting heroin. Concerns over disease and other risks associated with needles and injections are likely driving heroin users to this alternative. However, snorting does not reduce heroin addiction risks or any of the other serious problems that heroin creates. Snorting can actually increase heroin overdose risks. In fact, the effects of snorting heroin are as bad if not worse than injecting it. Snorting Heroin Heroin users who snort the drug generally report that the euphoria they feel is substantially less intense from snorting than they are from injecting the …

The Importance of Identifying Signs and Symptoms of ADHD

Misunderstandings about ADHD still abound for many people, resulting in harmful delays in diagnosis and treatment. Stigma is a big issue for people who have ADHD, which makes it important to know the signs and symptoms and offer treatment. Getting an early diagnosis provides open doors to getting treatment sooner than later. There are some things to keep in mind when looking at signs and symptoms of ADHD, which might help provide insight for people who are struggling, as well as their loved ones. How a Diagnosis Happens Healthcare professionals use the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for …

Forming Relationships in AA

One of the principles of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) is to wait a year before entering into a relationship. For some, this might feel really restrictive. The idea behind this principle of Alcoholics Anonymous relationships is that an individual must learn to love oneself before loving someone else, though. Whether to wait a year or not is an individual choice. However, it’s worth exploring the reasons it is worthwhile to wait according to the theories behind AA and relationships.‍ AA and Relationships Knowing the reasons that it’s beneficial to wait before getting into a relationship can give you the strength you …